Home Sweet Home

August 11, 2010

After 11 days, 13 plane flights, and 7 different overnight stays our team is thrilled to be in Chicago waiting for our flight to Des Moines. It has been an amazing journey with a special group of friends who are committed to making a difference in the world. We will keep you posted as we process the trip and new opportunities as they develop.

Finally have an Internet Connection

August 11, 2010

Finally have internet connection! We are waiting our flight in the Kunming Airport to go to Beijing, after being delayed and hour but not cancelled!

Sunday, we visited the RenLi Clinic to hand out dental supplies then headed to a Naxi home for traditional dinner and dancing.  Food was….. very ….interesting and hard to identify, as an added bonus to dinner and dancing we got to witness the drowning of a chicken, and the pleasure of watching the plucking and cleaning throughout the rest of dinner.

Next we headed to the Lijiang School, where we played with the kids and toured the facility.  Dad says things have changed so much, because of the development around the school. Monday, Dad, Emily, Scott, Rebekah, Doug, and I walked to the top of Old Town to a Roof Top Restaurant where the view was amazing! Deb and Dan went to Tiger Leaping Gorge.  

Hopefully we will have more access to the internet in Beijing where we can update more!

Leslie (with help from Deb)

P.s. If you already saw this when it still contained VERY large pictures, sorry. Haha Deb and I have been fired from our job of blog posters, and as you may have already noticed Scott has resumed his position. NOW! We are in Beijing Airport ready to board! See you all very soon!!

Travel Update

August 9, 2010

On our last day in LiJiang we split up in the morning to cover more ground.

Deb and Dan to Tiger Leaping Gorge with David.

Brad, Leslie, and Doug to the Black Dragon Pool.

And Scott, Em, Rebecca and Cindy to the open air market and back to the school.

The afternoon we spent some time in Old Town and then flew to Kunming where we met another of our scholarship students - Dr. Ruth.

Today onto Beijing and home to USA on Wednesday.


August 8, 2010

My day ends with the "Blue Screen of Death" on my laptop and waiting to send a post on the hotel computer - so this will be short and without pictures, which is unfortunate because there are some great ones today.

After a full and unexpected day of travel yesterday, and only 3 hours sleep, we started our 8th day of the trip before 6 am and took a flight from Kunming to LiJiang.

The photos today would have shown things like:

Emily meeting her pen pal of four years,  Rebecca, who lives in LiJiang

Our team delivering dental equipment that my dad had donated from his practice to dentists who were so over-joyed that tears streamed down their faces

You would have seen the new dental chair purchased by the Rotary Club of Des Moines AM and SCF

The team joining Naxi women for traditional Naxi dancing after our Naxi home lunch - the one where we also have the picture of Emily - as the Honored Guest - eating the fish eye

You would have seen the team doing business with Mr. Kahn - the Bottle Man - as we picked up the bottles we ordered to help support his micro-business

You would have seen the team touring the enhancements to the LiJiang Children's Ethnic Orphanage - our longest standing initiative

Doug and Brad playing basketball with the boys

All of us assessing the negative impact of the significant commercial building just inches away from the living residence's - causing significant damage

The team listening to over 50 Kindergarten children sing to them just before an extended recess - where we introduced the concept of Matchbox cars and everyone enjoyed playtime

A picture of Leslie walking from the K-school hand in hand with the cutest little girl and the biggest smile on both their faces

Dan, Deb, Brad, and Leslie on the roof top of La Mu where the team had dinner in Old Town prior to a brief stroll before calling it a long and good day.

As it is - you will need to use your minds eye - and when I can get things running again - I will send the photos of the day for you to share in the experience with us.


August 7, 2010

Every trip we have taken to China we learn as much about ourselves as we do those we seek to serve.

Today we have all been given a lesson in patience - as for the first time in five trips our plans have changed due to travel delays.

Actually the second time, as the seven landslides in Tibet the last time were certainly a delay. However, it was more exciting to dig out of mud with Monks than sit for hours in the only airport in the world that sells NO beverages.

Everyone has been wonderful and a special compliment to our two seventeen year old travelers (and Deb) who have made the most of it and been a joy and motivation for the rest of the team.

Right now the plan and best option is to take an 11:30 pm flight to Kunming and then fly to LiJiang at 7:30 am and we will be back on schedule.

On the last trip digging through the landslides I set a simple rule - never travel to China without an ISU engineer. This year, confirmation of the baseline for our teams - never travel without people who know the language and how to work within the system.